Secrets of Parthenon
Between 447 and 432 BCE. Ancient Greece built a temple to honor the Greeks’ westernized ideas of beauty, science, and art. The temple is the embodiment of these ideals and it continues to be a symbol of human potential. The Parthenon is that building.
Parthenon was built with skills unmatched in modern times. It took over 30 years for archaeologists and stonemasons to demolish, repair and reassemble this temple that took ancient Athenians eight or nine years. Art historians know that Iktinos was the architect who built the Parthenon. Phidias was the one responsible for the temple’s decorative decoration. Phidias also sculpted Athena Parthenos, the central cella of the temple. The entire building was built in doric style, with columns extending around it. It is also interesting to note the mathematical calculations that went into its design. Parthenon is known as the Doryphoros temple, because of its perfect layout and proportions. The Greeks knew the right equation to build the temple and also how to curve it slightly. Although it might seem odd to notice that the Parthenon isn’t flat at first glance, the ancient Greeks were able to adjust the Parthenon to accommodate this view. The Parthenon’s decorations surpass any temple, regardless of its order. Each of the ninety-two Metopes features a mythological sequence, similar to what is seen often in Greek vase art. These scenes include battles like Centauromachy and Amazonomachy as well as Gigantomachy and the Sack of Troy, which are all important mythological fights between various Greeks. But the Parthenon’s most expensive piece must be Athena Parthenos. She once stood in its center. This massive chryselephantine-shaped sculpture, which stood thirty-eightfeet tall, held Nike (the female personification and symbol of victory) in the palm. This is likely to be Nike referring specifically to victory over Persians 479 BCE. When they attacked Athenian’s acropolis. Athena’s entire body contains references to many other Greek victories. Although she was the most costly addition to the Parthenon’s Parthenon, Athena Parthenos was the most important decoration in the temple.
Parthenon was created to honor Athena and the Athenians. It’s obvious from the large, ivory and gold statue of Athena in the temple’s naos. But it’s also evident through the images throughout the temple. The east and west pediments show the birth of Athena. Even though all Athena statues are still carved with human anatomy, Phidias managed to make sure that the goddess’ beauty was highlighted and she gives off the impression of being a true goddess. Athena’s power shines through all of the sculptures, and even the temple. Everyone knows that this temple is for her. It has become a place of beauty, sophistication, and elegance, but it was also subject to vicious attacks by the outside world. However, although the Parthenon is not in its glory anymore, it remains an iconic symbol of creation and human history.